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All images: Marvel Comics

Carnage has always been a villain rooted in sociopathic horror, but Marvel has turned the terror way up for Absolute Carnage, a crossover event that has Carnage building a cult around him as he murders anyone previously touched by a symbiote. The creative team behind Marvel’s highly successful Venom series delivers a supercharged interpretation of Carnage that poses a massive threat to the entire Marvel Universe, and the series infuses moments of exhilarating superhero action with the tension and dread you get from the best horror thrillers.

Cover by Ryan Stegman, JP Mayer, and Frank Martin

Writer Donny Cates has dragged Eddie Brock through hell for the past year and a half, and all of these tests have strengthened Eddie’s heroic spirit to prepare him for the wrath of Carnage. Artist Ryan Stegman, inker J.P. Mayer, colorist Frank Martin, and letterer Clayton Cowles depict that wrath with devastating power, accelerating the story’s momentum through kinetic visuals. Absolute Carnage ups the stakes every issue, and the last chapter gave us the most exciting twist yet by tying this series to the best superhero book on stands: The Immortal Hulk. Last week’s Absolute Carnage: The Immortal Hulk one-shot revealed Bruce Banner and the Venom symbiote’s psychological compatibility, giving the Marvel Universe a dangerous new partnership that might help save the day right now, but opens a big can of worms for the future.

This exclusive preview of next week’s Absolute Carnage #4 highlights the might of Venom-Hulk with an explosive opening splash page that throws the fighters directly toward the reader, making Carnage even scarier by having him laugh in Venom-Hulk’s face. The art team on this series has done exceptional work giving the story operatic magnitude, best exemplified by the cover of Absolute Carnage #4 showing Venom in a torrential downpour of blood. You can almost hear the sound of the blood drops on Venom’s back and the waves surging at his feet, and the image captures both Eddie’s rage and his feeling of drowning in the bloodshed caused by Carnage.

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